As much as AMD has been ridiculed for its expensive purchase of ATI, the only part of the combined company that’s actually producing exciting product these days is the graphics division. Hot on the heels of the release of the Radeon HD 4800 series AMD has three new Phenom processors...unfortunately this isn’t an architectural change, and what we have today are two lower clocked and one higher clocked model.

The first processor is the Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition. Clocked at 2.6GHz, the Black Edition moniker indicates that it ships completely unlocked. Unfortunately the unlocked nature doesn’t really help you too much as the 65nm Phenoms aren’t really able to scale much beyond 2.7GHz consistently, so it’s mostly a marketing feature (Update: With some of our motherboard issues out of the way, detailed later on, we may be able to challenge this limit with the 9950.  More results coming).

The next two are potentially more interesting, AMD is introducing the Phenom X4 9350e and 9150e. The little-e indicates that these are energy efficient processors, in fact they are AMD’s first quad-core Phenoms to carry a 65W TDP (the rest of the lineup is 95W, 125W or 140W).

Unfortunately AMD doesn’t achieve these low TDPs by simply power binning its Phenom processors, instead what we’ve got here are two very low-clocked Phenom CPUs: 2.0GHz and 1.8GHz, respectively. By reducing clock speed and lowering the core voltage, AMD was able to hit a 65W TDP (something we’ll prove a little later). The 9150e also uses a lower North Bridge clock of 1.6GHz instead of 1.8GHz for the majority of the Phenom line.

AMD's New Pricing

Without an updated architecture, AMD simply can't compete with Intel's Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad lines - however, as we saw with the Athlon X2, by dropping its prices AMD can turn an uncompetitive part into a reasonable contender. With the Phenom re-launch AMD became a viable alternative to Intel and beginning next week, AMD will begin dropping prices on its entire lineup of Phenom X3 and X4 CPUs:

Cores Clock Speed Max NB Frequency HT Frequency TDP L2 Cache L3 Cache 1 Ku Price
AMD Phenom X4 9950 4 2.6GHz 2.0GHz 2.0GHz 140W 2MB 2MB $235
AMD Phenom X4 9850 4 2.5GHz 2.0GHz 2.0GHz 125W 2MB 2MB $205
AMD Phenom X4 9750 4 2.4GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 125W 2MB 2MB $215
AMD Phenom X4 9650 4 2.3GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 95W 2MB 2MB $195
AMD Phenom X4 9550 4 2.2GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 95W 2MB 2MB $175
AMD Phenom X4 9350e 4 2.0GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 65W 2MB 2MB $195
AMD Phenom X4 9150e 4 1.8GHz 1.6GHz 1.6GHz 65W 2MB 2MB $175
AMD Phenom X3 8750 3 2.4GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 95W 1.5MB 2MB $175
AMD Phenom X3 8650 3 2.3GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 95W 1.5MB 2MB $145
AMD Phenom X3 8450 3 2.1GHz 1.8GHz 1.8GHz 95W 1.5MB 2MB $125

The new Phenom X4 9950 will occupy the $235 space, which will push the 9850 down to $215. The Phenom 9750 (no official price change) will go away temporarily to make room for the new chips at the high end, leaving the 9650 at $195 and the 9550 at $175. Then we have the new e-edition processors which are overpriced at $195 and $175 for the 9350e and 9150e, respectively.

The X3s get particularly interesting, we're expecting the 8750 to end up in the $170 - $180 range, the 8650 will be a $140 - $150 part and the 8450 will be AMD's answer to the E7200 at $120 - $130.

The price cuts themselves aren't tremendous, but they should be enough to make AMD even more competitive than the last time we visited this issue.

Intel Makes 45nm Affordable


View All Comments

  • Regs - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    Between cool n' quite and flimsy power management, it just seems like AMD overshot their goals. Though to me, it seems like they could easily be fixed in Shanghai, but that's if they can keep all four cores busy instead I have 3 cores at stall, and one pumping at max in threaded or shared instruction instances. This will though cause more power consumption, and I think you guys all ready said that mobo support is just not their to power these suckers. You can have your cake, you just cant eat it.

    What do you goes think about AMD at 2.6 GHz? Looks more competitive stacked up to Intel's finniest at the given price point. Just makes me wonder if the over complicated power management features are keeping AMD from hitting 3.0 GHz or above. What do you think is holding AMD back?
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    Shitty engineering? Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - link

    Well, I dont know for sure. But its definitely not moronic comments from dumbasses such as you. Reply
  • Assimilator1 - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    Yeah it looks like they've messed up the clock speeds for the lower Phenoms too, lol. Reply
  • Aries1470 - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    Just found the following strange:
    AMD Phenom X4 9850 $205
    AMD Phenom X4 9750 $215
    The slower one is more expensive, while in the article it has the prices reversed?
    "The new Phenom X4 9950 will occupy the $235 space, which will push the 9850 down to $215. The Phenom 9750 will go away temporarily to make room for the new chips at the high end, leaving the 9650 at $195 and the 9550 at $175."

    I wonder which one is correct ;-) Hmm... I think a proof reader and an eye for detail is needed :-)

    Ok, now for me to read the rest of the article.

    Btw, any update on the new VIA Nano CPU - Codename Isaiah? Will there be a review? It is as fast as a 9150e or faster at the same clock speed? It has much less power usage. Now if someone over here could do a review or get more info that would be great, since it is like there is no other x86 competitor out there...

    That's all from me.
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    The 9750 pricing will not be changed by AMD officially and thankfully that model is being phased out in the retail sector and replaced by the 9850BE.

    I have a picture of the VIA Nano PR flag from Computex and a handout explaining how it should perform. That is about as far as VIA is willing to go at this point with information. I did hear from some OEMS that VIA was not even close to getting the CPU out this summer as originally thought, much less advanced reviews. However, we do push them on an almost daily basis for it.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now